Newsletter October 2018
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“Building Better Futures Through Music”
Newsletter November 2018


In This Issue:

  President's Message

Starting Early

Cello and Advanced Orchestra

Mariachi Experience

Meet some of our Stars:

Jesus Nava        Raja Patel        Teacher Alyda Hart

The Family of FAYM



Dear friends of FAYM,

The first FAYM recital for the 2018/19 school year was held on October 20 at the East Las Vegas Community Center.  This year’s beginning students did not perform because they have only had violins in their hands for a few weeks.  They will definitely play at our next recital in December.

However, everyone else did get on stage and perform for an excited audience!  We even had a few parents and siblings of our students
who have been taking beginning guitar, vihuela, and guitarrón classes take the stage and perform Las Mañanitas along with our Beginning
Mariachi and Advanced Mariachi. This combined group did an excellent job in performing a traditional Hispanic song which is played on important days such as birthdays, anniversaries, saint days, etc. I recently had a birthday so I listened to this song as if it were dedicated to me!

Mil Gracias!

On another note, parents of FAYM have been working together to assure that our Violins For Kids program continues for their children.  They have been working on fund raisers such as candy sales, organizing yard sales and are searching for other ways to help bring in money.  It is important that all our wonderful donors that have been helping us over the years know that our families are taking an active role in helping our program grow.  By all of us working together as the ‘FAYM Family’, we are assuring that our kids get a wonderful opportunity to grow and learn!

Thanks in advance for your continued support!

Arturo Ochoa, Board President
















JESUS NAVA is a second year violin student at the Pearson Center, and in the fourth grade at OK Adcock Elementary.

What instrument do you play and why did you pick it?"I play the violin.  I have an aunt that plays and she is very good.  
I have fun when I play my violin.

What do you like about your music lessons? "It is relaxing and it makes me happy.  It is very exciting for me to learn."

What is the hardest thing you are learning? "Reading the notes is hard."

What is your favorite thing you have learned? "I like to play Ode to Joy."

Is there a song you want to learn how to play? "I would like to learn Baby Shark."

How does it feel to  perform with your instrument? "I am nervous but very happy!"

How does it feel when you practice  a lot and your playing gets better? "It makes me feel good."

What do you want to be when you grow up? "I want to be a violinist"

Do you think learning music will help you with your goal? "Yes!"



Getting to know ALYDA HART is also a pleasure

Which instruments do you play?  Which do you prefer to play?  
"I play violin, cello, guitar, and piano. I prefer cello."

When and how did you become a teacher with FAYM? "I began as a teacher's assistant for the cello at FAYM in August 2018."

How long have you been teaching music? "Since August 2018. I asked if I could teach cello and they assigned me to those classes. I am teaching at FAYM."

Tell us about an adult who inspired you to pursue music during your childhood. "I began playing cello 2 years ago when by chance I came upon some musicians playing on Fremont street. I related my dream of someday playing the cello along with my woe of not having an instrument to play on. He offered to provide a free instrument and free daily lessons if I were to be diligent, which I of course immediately accepted."

What classes do you teach for FAYM? "Beginning and advanced cello."

What are you working on with your students this semester? "In the begining class we are learning the rudiments of playing cello such as posture, using the bow, and placing the fingers of the left hand. In the advanced class we are working on repertoire from the Suzuki program."

What qualities or skills do you want your students to leave you class with at the end of the year? "I hope to leave them with a lifelong love for music and the creative process. I hope they will gain an appreciation for the effort that goes into doing anything well and the joy of successfully working with others as a team."


Another part of FAYM...    Meet scholarship recipient RAJA PATEL

In 2007,  Mr. Hal Weller, founding music director and conductor laureate of                                                                                                         the Las Vegas Philharmonic saw a You Tube video of a young man, Krzysztof Rucinski, from Poland. Hal communicated with him via email and learned that this talented young man was not able to pursue his music education in the United States because his family did not have the money.  Hal created FAYM and made it possible for Krzysztof to attend Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y.    Since then, FAYM has assisted talented young musicians attend Carnegie Mellon School of Music, Eastman School of Music, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Interlochen Arts Academy, and Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music.

During our October 20, 2018 recital, a student at UNLV, Raja Patel was granted a scholarship to help him pursue his passion for music.  During the recital, Raja played Courante from Cello Suite No 2 by J.S. Bach. Our students and our audience were thoroughly impressed by this talented and vibrant viola player!

I asked Raja some questions and below are his responses:

 For how many years have you been playing the viola? "I’ve played viola for 7 years."

How did you know that the viola was the instrument for you? "I didn’t choose viola for a particular reason.  I wasn’t serious about music until a couple years in. However, I ended up loving this instrument because of its unique, rather emotional character. In an orchestral setting, a violist’s role changes constantly. We often get the “colorful” notes in chords because of our place in the orchestra. I feel that I relate to the viola."

What high school did you attend? "I attended Green Valley High sSchool and Thurman White MiddleSchool."

What made you decide to go to UNLV? "My decision to go to college was pretty last minute. With this being said, I had to redo a number of classes online to achieve the proper GPA and I also had to retake the ACT for a higher score."

Along your journey, are there any individuals that helped you succeed?  (You can list their names and a short comment on how they helped you. "Many people have helped me thus far: *Kerry Bennetwas my middle school teacher who encouraged me to work hard and introduced me to almost everyone on this list. * Susan Barton was my first private teacher. Not only did she provide me with an instrument that I used up to this point, but she ignited a passion for music in me and told me I should pursue it. * Shelly Burger, my high school orchestra director, provided me with numerous opportunities and any time I had doubts about pursuing the instrument, she helped me push through. Whenever I needed something, she made sure I had it. * I took lessons with Jason Bonhammy senior year of high school. He helped set up college auditions and many decisions that I had to make at that point in my life."

Raja, it was great to meet you and hear you play.  We are very pleased that FAYM was able to give you a little support for your studies. You inspired our students and are definitely a Role Model for them.


You can support FAYM students at our website.
FAYM keeps our costs low by relying on highly qualified volunteers to handle our administrative tasks.
You can be sure that your donation will go directly to scholarship assistance, program support, and student lessons.

Copyright © 2018 Foundation to Assist Young Musicians, All rights reserved.

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